Penn (1-2, 1-0 Ivy) vs. Central Connecticut State (1-3, 0-1 NEC)
Franklin Field, Philadelphia
Saturday, 1 p.m.
Fresh off a great win to open Ivy League play, Penn plays its final non-conference game of the season against an unfamiliar foe. Here’s a look at the matchup:
The Quakers bounced back from two straight non-league losses to start the season with a convincing 37-24 victory over Dartmouth, one of the teams they shared the Ivy title with last year. Led by the electric trio of quarterback Alek Torgersen, wide receiver Justin Watson and running back Tre Solomon, Penn finished with 207 rushing yards and 188 passing yards while scoring on its first four possessions. The Quakers also made some big plays on defense but still rank seventh in the Ivies in total defense (466.3 ypg) and scoring defense (34.7 ppg).
Scouting Central Connecticut State
The Blue Devils have beaten Bowie State and lost to Lafayette, James Madison and Bryant. In their 45-25 loss to Bryant two weeks ago — they had a bye last week — they fell behind 28-3 at halftime after giving up TDs on four of Bryant’s first five possessions. Jacob Dolegala had a good game at quarterback, completing a career-high 31 passes (on 51 attempts) for 264 yards and two touchdowns. Cameron Nash, a preseason first-team all-conference running back, finished with 68 yards on 10 carries, which is right around his season average. The Blue Devils’ defense ranks last in the Northeast Conference, allowing 40 points per game.
This is the first-ever meeting between the two programs.
Storyline to watch
Central Connecticut State has surrendered more than 300 passing yards per game, by far the worst mark in its conference. An experienced quarterback like Torgersen should be able to take advantage of that, as should a dominant receiver like Watson. But it will be interesting to see if other receivers can get involved and gain confidence heading into the bulk of the conference schedule.
What’s at stake
Truthfully, there’s not a whole lot at stake for the Quakers since Ivy teams aren’t eligible for the playoffs and thus don’t need to boost their non-conference résumé. The biggest thing is staying healthy and ironing out some kinks as they look to resume their Ivy title quest the following week — and, perhaps, treating the home fans to a show.
Look for the Quakers to make it two in a row.
Penn 35, Central Connecticut State 17